Photo courtesy Alena Schuckmann / Louisville City FC
FROM USL/LOUISVILLE CITY FC Reports
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC came from a goal down twice to earn a 2-2 draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday night in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 at Slugger Field. After a pair of weather delays, Conor Shanosky scored with five minutes to go for the hosts, who had been reduced to 10 with 16 minutes to go when goalkeeper Scott Goodwin was sent off.
Louisville had a big early chance early on when it almost capitalized on a poor turnover by the Riverhounds, as the ball quickly reached Chandler Hoffman at the top of the penalty area. The USL’s leading scorer elected to check up over a quick shot, and send Mark-Anthony Kaye in alone on the left side of the penalty area, but Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap stood tall to turn the shot away.
The Riverhounds struck first, however, as high pressure won possession on the right side in the 10th minute, and a quick three-pass move across the field found Romeo Parkes alone for his third goal of the season.
In typical fashion, Louisville looked to find a response from pressure down the flanks, and came close to an equalizer from a corner in the 22nd minute. Enrique Montano’s delivery found Sean Reynolds, but his save was comfortably saved by Gilstrap near the left post.
A scramble in the penalty area following Louisville’s next corner also threatened the Riverhounds’ goal, while Niall McCabe sliced a shot high and wide from 10 yards as the hosts caught Pittsburgh’s defense scrambling soon after.
Louisville went close again with 11 minutes to go in the first half as a slide-rule pass sent Kyle Smith in down the right side, and his low cross found Hoffman as he peeled away from his marker for a finish with the outside of his left boot, but the shot went wide of the near post.
The hosts’ pressure continued later in the first half, as Kadeem Dacres had a shot from distance after a cleared corner saved by Gilstrap in the 40th minute, but then the game entered a delay as a lightning strike saw the officials remove the players from the field.
The game was able to briefly resume and continue into the second half, but the players were again removed from the field for another delay that saw the game suspended for a second time in the 54th minute. After work was done by the grounds crew to get the field ready for action, Louisville again got on the front foot, and three minutes after the second resumption Hoffman’s flicked header from Kaye’s cross from the right looped over Gilstrap and into the net to make it 1-1.
Louisville continued to hold the upper hand after the goal, and Guy Abend sent a shot just wide of the left post in the 71st minute, but three minutes later the Riverhounds got a break as a through-ball found its way to Corey Hertzog as he broke in behind the defense, and was brought down for a penalty kick by Goodwin. Louisville’s goalkeeper was sent off, bringing on back-up Greg Ranjitsingh to face the kick, but Hertzog kept his cool to shoot low into the right corner past the substitute’s outstretched hand.
Down a man, Louisville pressed to try and level the score again, and Gilstrap had to punch clear a free kick by Cameron Lancaster with six minutes to go that dipped strongly. City found its reply a minute later, however, as Shanosky bundled home a close-range finish to make it 2-2 after Dacres had sent a low cross into the six-yard area from the left.
The game threatened more late drama, as Hertzog again got in behind Louisville’s defense, only to be denied by a good save by Ranjitsingh with two minutes to go. Stephen Okai also sent a finish high for the visitors after Louisville failed to clear a late free kick, but the teams shared the points as Louisville extended its lead at the top of the USL’s Eastern Conference to two points over the New York Red Bulls II.
PITTSBURGH SOCCER REPORT’s John Krysinsky will have his #LOUvPGH TAKEAWAYS on Thursday morning.